One of our local pizza places (Little Caesar's) has started selling a bacon-crust pizza. It's wonderful - caloric mayhem and pizza heaven all wrapped up in one package. If you haven't tried it, go now and do so.
The good news is, if you'd like to make your own deep-dish bacon-wrapped pizza at home, from scratch, it's pretty easy. Read on, and I'll show you how it's done.Deep dish pizza is a Chicago-born style of pizza that's been in existence for nearly 80 years. The difference between a "regular" pizza and deep dish is the crust: a deep-dish pizza's crust forms a dish that can be 1 to 2 inches deep and holds a lot more sauce and other goodies.
I use a 15" cast iron skillet when making deep-dish pizza. It's deep enough that the pizza and its fillings will stay inside, and you get the great, evenly-cooked results that cast-iron delivers. When the crust is stretched out in the pan to form the dish, here's what it looks like:
The dough is about 1/2" below the top edge of the pan, and on average is 1/4" thick or less. Want to make this? Here we go!
Ingredients for Bacon-Wrapped Pizza
- One recipe of fresh-made pizza dough. I make it in my bread machine using Tom Lacalamita's recipe in his book, The All New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook. It's been out for several years, and you can get a copy at Amazon very cheaply.
- For the pizza dough: bread flour, yeast, water.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 - 8oz (2 cups) bag of shredded "pizza cheese"
- 1 - 8oz (2 cups) bag of "Italian blend" cheese
- 1 - 15oz can of pizza sauce. My favorite is Dei Fratelli's recipe.
- 1 - 15oz can of diced tomatoes in olive oil, with garlic and Italian spices. Drain before using!
- 8oz fresh, sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
- One-half pound of sliced bacon (thick, thin, it's up to you)
You'll also need:
- A pastry brush
- A large, deep pan for the pizza
- 1 or 2 spatulas (I like the wooden ones - like these bamboo spatulas).
How to Make the Pizza
1. Prepare the pan by brushing its interior with olive oil.
2. Place the dough in the pan and begin stretching it out by gently pushing from the center to the outside.
From time to time, turn the dough over so both sides have been worked.
Once the dough covers the bottom of the pan, begin working it up the sides until you have a dish that's 1 to 2 inches deep.
Take a fork and gently pierce the dough. Then, brush the dough down with more olive oil.
3. Wrap the crust with the bacon by carefully placing slices of bacon between the pan wall and the crust.
4. Spread the diced tomatoes over the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of cheese, and then mushrooms.
5. Put pizza sauce, then add the put the final layer of cheese on top.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375° F or the crust is golden-brown and the sauces and cheese are bubbling. Remove from oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, gently ease the pizza out of the pan to a cutting board, and slice as desired.
Variations to Try
- Leave out the bacon and you'll have a great vegetarian pizza; try layering more than one vegetable into the mix - zucchini, eggplant, whatever sounds good to you!
- Instead of shredded cheese on the bottom, try covering the bottom with cheese slices. Muenster is a great cheese to include in pizzas because of its rich, creamy texture.
- Experiment with different sauces: alfred, pesto... you name it.